Nine years ago, long before Eve Dallas had her lieutenant stripes, a killer who was dubbed The Groom abducted, tortured and murdered a series of women. The New York City police were unable to catch him before he dropped off their radar. As the years passed, it was their collective hope that he had been captured, incarcerated or, better yet, killed. Whatever had happened, they wanted him gone for good.
But he’s back. And this time, he wants Eve Dallas.
In the years since he disappeared, The Groom has been honing his skills. Organization and patience aren’t the only things he has going for him. He picks his partners --- as he considers his victims --- methodically, taking time to choose carefully. Plus, he’s more than just highly intelligent.
“He was a maestro in the art of death. The keeper of time. The bringer of destiny.”
But his obsession with Eve Dallas may be his undoing.
A body is discovered, then a second, and the clock is already ticking on a third victim. With a sizable task force behind her, tracking devices on her car and her person, a tag team in close following distance, it seems safe for Lt. Dallas to use herself as bait. She knows that he wants her. Besides, what could possibly go wrong? Famous last words. It’s possible that the police might not be giving this clever serial killer the credit he deserves. They need to keep in mind that he has eluded their attempts to stop him for many years --- and, they learn, in many countries.
How does he manage to lure women off the streets, during daylight hours, without a struggle? Particularly once the killings start. With the word out, what woman would accompany a stranger anywhere alone?
The psychologist’s profile, coupled with Dallas’s intuitive instinct, gives the cops an advantage that they didn’t have nine years ago. The killer starts to take shape from their tenacious digging and logical deductions. His history emerges, showing what made him into the monster that is now stalking young brunettes.
Roarke, Dallas’s sexy, rich, Irish hunk of a husband, adds his invaluable expertise --- along with some occasional bouts of pizza delivery --- to the lieutenant’s task force. Together, they thrust and parry their way through the nerve-wracking hours to the end of the toughest case Dallas has seen in a long time. Both are strong characters, quick of temper, hard loving, hard working and hard playing. They will need to be every bit of that --- and much more --- to catch this killer.
And then there’s Roarke’s man, Summerset, who displays a palpable distaste for Roarke’s distinctly unfeminine wife. He proves himself worthy of a very large pat on the back in this investigation. To her surprise and chagrin, Dallas almost starts to like him.
J.D. Robb’s stories are fun to come home to at the end of the day. With CREATION IN DEATH --- the 25th installment of her bestselling In Death series --- she gives us one of the nastiest villains she has conjured up to date. With the target being Dallas herself, it makes for an interesting challenge. And warp speed reading.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 7, 2011